Taiwan citizen charged with spying in China after reporting PLA troop movements on Hong Kong border

A Taiwanese man who went missing after crossing the border from Hong Kong into Shenzhen City in August has been formally charged for spying and endangering the national security of China, according to reports today, November 30.

Morrison Lee (Lee Meng-chu, 李孟居), 44, crossed the border to Shenzhen City, August 20, after visiting Hong Kong. At the time, mass protests against the Extradition Law Amendment Bill were in progress in Hong Kong.

Lee had expressed support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and had uploaded pictures of the protests after his arrival in the territory, August 18.

After Lee crossed the border, he witnessed a build-up of Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) troops on the Shenzhen side of the border.

Lee, who worked as a rural affairs adviser for the Fangliao Township Office in Pingtung County, contacted Fangliao Township Mayor Archer Chen (Chen Ya-lin, 陳亞麟), and reported that there were troop movements on the Hong Kong border, and the situation seems tense. Lee then sent pictures of PLA troops to the mayor.

It was the last communication Lee had with anyone in Taiwan.

Lee Meng-chu and Ke Wen-zhe
Lee Meng-chu and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je. From Lee’s Facebook page.

On August 25, Mayor Chen notified Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), saying that he had contacted the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, who said that there was no information about Lee Ming-chu’s entry into Shenzhen. The PSB told Chen to check with the Hong Kong police.

On August 28, the MAC confirmed that Lee was missing.

On September 11, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office announced that Lee was detained and under investigation for alleged criminal activities related to endangering national security, but did not specify details.

Taiwan media, including United Daily News, and Liberty Times, today referred to a report from Communist Party Guangdong Province newspaper Southern Daily that revealed that Lee had been formally charged, October 31, for spying and illegally sharing state secrets, by the Shenzhen People’s Procuratorate (a type of court that operates inquisitorial legal systems such as the PRC).

The communist mouthpiece report also identified Lee as a Taiwan independence organization cadre, and ” a key member of the Taiwan independence organization.”

Lee was said to have gone to Hong Kong to support anti-China chaos, then sneaked over the border to probe military secrets.

Lee Meng-chu and KMT politician and former Mayor of New Taipei City, Eric Chu. From Lee’s Facebook page.
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